Wave of feminism in Chitral

By Mohsin Aziz
Chitral is is famous for its mesmerizing greenery, waterfalls, mountains and attractive scenaries. It remains a centre for huge tourist attraction during the summer. People from different parts of Pakistan and all over the world come to Chitral to shun away from harsh realities of life and to observe the nature very closely.
Chitral is also famous for its different cultural and ethnic diversities. Besides, peace and harmony in Chitral is exemplary. There is no cultural and religious conflict in this valley. Two communities are in majority: Islmailis and Sunnis and both live in without any religious hatred and discrimination. Respect for religion always prevails within the mountains.
Chitral is a district of KP with highest literacy rate. According to a report published in Dawn on Feb 6, 2003, Chitral had 98 per cent literacy rate in the age group of 6-10 years.
According to a report prepared by the provincial education department, Chitral has also to its credit of having the second lowest drop-out rate in the province.
The report says the drop-out rate of schoolchildren here is 23 per cent while that of Swabi district is 22 per cent. There are over 600 primary schools for boys and girls in the district.
Another encouraging aspect of the situation, as shown in the report, is that the rate of girls’ enrollment is fairly equal to the boys’ despite the abject poverty and a conservative social approach of locals in case of the woman.
Furthermore, the Khow people are famous for their simplicity, love, kindness and equality. They are highly hospitable and caring and adopt each and every cultural very easily.
People from different parts of Pakistan like Pashtun, Punjabi and even from Afghanistan also live here and are exercising equal social, political and religious rights.
Nowadays due to the powerful impact of social and print media the culture of Chitral is changing rapidly. It is good because change is the only permanent phenomenon and part and parcel of the life. Without change a culture and society may cease. The changes are of two kinds positive and negative.
Class stratification, lower class, middle class and upper class are present in the valley but in the cultural platform they all are equal and on the same page to protect their culture.
If we took expression of thoughts, access to education and equality, there is no gender discrimination. All educational institutions are entertaining equal number of students. There  would be less than two per cent cases where males are privileged.
Now what we are experiencing in the social media that the young generation is projecting girls as oppressed, suppressed members of society but the reality is just the opposite.
The concept of feminism in Islam ended with the advent of our holy prophet and in case of west it started in France and then spread to United Kingdom and Unites States of America. Yes women in the west were underprivileged and still they are. Still salary of man and woman worker is not equal in the west .
Seminars are arranged on patronage of leading scholars of Chitral but we do not have access to their valuable speeches and what we are coming across is cheap poetry regarding women and chitrali dance.
It is an amazing paradigm shift that why they want to promote such social activities which is against our society.
Many people considered it a taboo yo share a picture of their family especially women. In the name of modernity and open mindness, we are sacrificing our culture of respect for women which is in the form of “Pardah”.
Every culture has its beauty the beauty of our culture is to deal woman as an angel in each and every field of life.
Henry Ibsen says that feminism is not about the woman but it is about the equality between man and woman. If the gender equality lacks in Chitral, it is to be solved in an alternative way but not by advertising the respectable daughters, mothers and sisters on social media.

2 Replies to “Wave of feminism in Chitral”

  1. Social media is a good platform to discuss such social matters. It is said that if you want to know about any society look into how a society treats its women how it treats its animals.

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